Confirmation. As if all of the evidence, the piles of reports and tests weren’t enough to tell us he was in the wrong, Lance Armstrong officially admitted to doping on Oprah. Thought the reason behind it is claimed to be an apology to cycling as a sport and those whom lives he greatly affected, more often than not for the worse, the vast majority of the cycling fraternity see it as an attempt to un-soil his name and gain some rather undeserved respect. Well whatever his motive he has taken a step in the right direction be confessing. The hour long interview was a no-holds-bars interrogation into the ins and outs of Lance’s career in particular the long list of his wrongs doings.
Some might say that he was sincere about his apology and meant what he said, other feel this was just a PR stunt to gain popularity for a potential lifting of his life time ban (reduced to 4 years, 2 at the least). Paul Kimmage, ex Tour De France rider now a sports journalist, fell firmly into the second category and issued a response to the interview. “It appears to me that the only thing he regrets is getting caught, it’s hard to believe someone when they have said to your face that you aren’t worth the chair you are sat upon.” Of course his view on the whole affair is bound to be tainted as he has been attacked by Lance on numerous occasions, but Kimmage has made a valid point. If he has lied in court over the past 15 years under oath, how can we believe that everything he has said is true about all of the so called “fictional stories” that his team mates have been telling? Is he truly innocent or should he be made fully responsible for potentially ruining the lives of his teammates and anyone else he sued or threatened?
I for one believe that he is sorry, but that does not make up for the years of lies and targeting of innocent, truthful bystanders. In the interview he seems saddened every time he watches over one of his past interviews or multiple court appearances. Ashamed of what he has done he seeks sympathy from the people who watched him win 7 tours or even those who aren't interested in cycling. Should we give him that sympathy? Well, yes. I think that he shouldn't be allowed to compete in elite sport for the proposed length of a 4 year ban he is reckoned to get but I do think we should perhaps leave him alone now. Now that the story is out we can stop barraging him with foul mouthed insults. That said I don’t think we should forget it, let it be a reminder to all those who think of doping, it will never end well.
So where does all of this leave Armstrong? Well he will still be hated by the majority of cyclists, remembered by those whom have benefited from his great charitable work and known around the globe as a tarnished cycling icon.